Drug and Alcohol Use Among Adolescents

Essay by MAKER33High School, 12th gradeA+, December 2009

download word file, 5 pages 5.0

Monday, November 23, 2009Jane Loevinger, a well known psychologist says that adolescents go through stages in their life to fully develop their ego; two of these stages are the conformist stage and the conscientious stage (1990 in Holloway 2000). During adolescence teens try to fit in and see where they belong in life (Loevinger 1990 in Holloway 2000). This can cause them to try things such as drugs and drinking alcohol. For example, Dr. Margaret Melrose did a study of young heavy cannabis users and the greatest proportion said they started using because their friends were already using (2005). Current research done on the topic of young drug use in Canada shows a steady rise in recent years from 1994 to 2000 in all age groups (Tjempkema 2004). This review of literature will examine how often adolescents use drugs, why they use, the psychological effects of using, the effects they may experience later in life and the social effects of using drugs and alcohol.

How Often: According to Michael Tjempkema and his doctoral research paper that states 12.2% of 3 million Canadians aged 15 or older have used cannabis in the past year (2004). More research done in the Atlantic Provinces indicates that that 28% of teens have used cannabis and 2% have used cocaine in the past 12 months (Poulin 1999). Research done by Statistic Canada states that the age group 17-18 has been accused of drug related offences more than any other, about 1400 for every 100,000 per population (StatCan 2009). Trends in this area indicate that young students in high school and post-secondary education are using drugs and alcohol, some daily, some weekly and some not at all but they are being used and the reasons for the use of drugs and alcohol also vary.

Why Teens...